August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
Hypobaric hypoxia increases intersaccadic drift velocity
Author Affiliations
  • Leandro L. Di Stasi
    Department of Neurobiology, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
  • Raúl Cabestrero
    National University of Distance Education, Madrid, Spain.
  • Michael B. McCamy
    Department of Neurobiology, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
  • Francisco Ríos
    Spanish Defence Aero-medical Center (C.I.M.A.), Madrid, Spain.
  • Andrés Catena
    Learning, Emotion, and Decision Group. Mind, Brain, and Behavior Research Center (CIMCYC). University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
  • Pilar Quirós
    National University of Distance Education, Madrid, Spain.
  • Jose A. Lopez
    Spanish Defence Aero-medical Center (C.I.M.A.), Madrid, Spain.
  • Carolina Saez
    Spanish Defence Aero-medical Center (C.I.M.A.), Madrid, Spain.
  • Stephen L. Macknik
    Department of Neurosurgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
  • Susana Martinez-Conde
    Department of Neurobiology, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 113. doi:10.1167/14.10.113
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    • Get Citation

      Leandro L. Di Stasi, Raúl Cabestrero, Michael B. McCamy, Francisco Ríos, Andrés Catena, Pilar Quirós, Jose A. Lopez, Carolina Saez, Stephen L. Macknik, Susana Martinez-Conde; Hypobaric hypoxia increases intersaccadic drift velocity. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):113. doi: 10.1167/14.10.113.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Hypoxia, defined as decreased availability of oxygen in the bodys tissues, can lead to dyspnea, rapid pulse, syncope, visual dysfunction, mental disturbances such as delirium or euphoria, and even death. It is considered to be one of the most serious hazards during flight. Thus, early and objective detection of the physiological effects of hypoxia is critical to prevent catastrophes in civil and military aviation. The few studies that have addressed the effects of hypoxia on objective oculomotor metrics have had inconsistent results, however. Thus, the question of whether hypoxia modulates eye movement behavior remains open. Here we examined the effects of short-term hypobaric hypoxia on the velocity of saccadic eye movements and intersaccadic drift of Spanish Air Force pilots and flight engineers, compared to a control group that did not experience hypoxia. Saccadic velocity decreased with time-on-duty in both groups, in correlation with subjective fatigue. Intersaccadic drift velocity increased in the hypoxia group only, suggesting that acute hypoxia diminishes eye stability, independently of fatigue. Our results suggest that intersaccadic-drift velocity could serve as a biomarker of acute hypoxia. These findings may also contribute to our understanding of the relationship between hypoxia episodes and central nervous system impairments.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014

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